February 27, 2021 (SFChronicle.com)
By Connor Letourneau
Warriors head coach Steve Kerr lauded Santa Cruz guard Jeremy Lin for his impassioned Instagram post Thursday railing against the wave of anti-Asian American violence across the country.
“I just saw the … post just now, really powerful,” Kerr said before Friday night’s game against the Hornets at Chase Center. “I applaud Jeremy for his words and echo his sentiments regarding racism against the Asian American community. It’s just so ridiculous. And obviously, spawned by many people — including our former president, as it relates to the coronavirus originating in China.
“It’s just shocking. I don’t know, I just can’t wrap my head around any of it. But I can’t wrap my head around racism in general. I mean, we’re all just flesh and blood. We’re all just people. As (Spurs coach Gregg Popovich) once said to me, ‘We’re all accidents of birth.’ We were born, we come out the way we are and we don’t have a say in it. We do have a say in how we treat people, and it’s just shocking to me that we can treat people so poorly based on the color of their skin.”
Lin, who joined Santa Cruz — Golden State’s G League affiliate — at the G League bubble near Orlando in hopes of resuscitating his NBA career, took to social media in response to a recent surge in violence against Asian Americans. Attacks on elderly Asian Americans, recently seen in the Bay Area, are now happening in New York.
“Something is changing in this generation of Asian Americans,” Lin wrote on Instagram. “We are tired of being told that we don’t experience racism, we are tired of being told to keep our heads down and not make trouble. We are tired of Asian American kids growing up and being asked where they’re REALLY from, of having our eyes mocked, of being objectified as exotic or being told we’re inherently unattractive.
“We are tired of the stereotypes in Hollywood affecting our psyche and limiting who we think we can be. We are tired of being invisible, of being mistaken for our colleague or told our struggles aren’t as real. I want better for my elders who worked so hard and sacrificed so much to make a life for themselves here. I want better for my niece and nephew and future kids. I want better for the next generation of Asian American athletes than to have to work so hard to just be ‘deceptively athletic.’
“Being an Asian American doesn’t mean we don’t experience poverty and racism. Being a 9 year NBA veteran doesn’t protect me from being called ‘coronavirus’ on the court. Being a man of faith doesn’t mean I don’t fight for justice, for myself and for others.”
Asked whether he’d support an investigation into Lin’s allegation that he’s been called “coronavirus” during a game, Kerr said, “Oh yeah. For sure, for sure. … The reference was a little bit vague, so I think it’d be good to know what happened.”
Roughly an hour after Kerr’s comment, the G League announced that it’s opening an investigation into Lin’s statement that he has been called “coronavirus.”
In five games with Santa Cruz at the G League bubble, Lin, 32, has averaged 19.6 points on 48.3% shooting (48.4% from 3-point range), 2.8 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 1.6 steals.More for you
Connor Letourneau moved to the Golden State Warriors beat in September 2016 after a year covering Cal. Previously, he spent two years covering the Oregon State Beavers for The Oregonian. Letourneau is a University of Maryland alum who has interned for The Baltimore Sun and blogged for The New York Times. A Portland, Ore., native, he is interested in telling the stories that extend beyond the field or court.VIEW COMMENTSTop of the News